Happy New Year! With each new year brings resolutions to eat healthy and lose weight. Fittness Centers, Gyms, and Weight loss programs take full advantage of this new found inspiration by offering discounts you can’t refuse. This is an excellent marketing strategy. It is a known fact that a majority of people are motivated to make drastic lifestyle changes within the first month of the year. From February to March a large number people fall back into old habits and completely abandon their resolutions.
One common question is why. Why do people people so easily give up on their weight loss journey. Well the answer is a little complicated. Most people adopt a drastic diet and a strict exercise regimen. Unfortunately this regimen is often unsustainable. Diets in of itself are temporary. They have a specific start and end date and are not meant to be long term. It often involves drastic food restrictions. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (hhs.gov), the average American diet exceeds the recommended daily limits for fats, added sugars, refined grains, sodium (salt), and saturated fat. This is mostly due to the fact that Americans eat less than the daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. We live in a fast-paced society where the emphasis is on good food fast.
The concept of good food does not mean that the food is healthy and nutritious. The term good refers to the taste. Often times “good food” is highly refined with sugar, salt and saturated fat. The consequence of eating convenient food that is poor in nutrition is decreased energy, weight gain, and poor health. Over time, the typical American diet can lead to a lifetime of chronic health conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. So understandably the prospect of weight loss and improved health is a fitting New Years Resolution.
Setting resolutions to improve your health is a great start. However, the sustainable solution is not a diet that drastically prohibits the “unhealthy foods” you love. The question is why not? Well the key ingredients of refined sugars, sodium, and fat are chemically modified with an additive component. This is one of the reasons why its so easily to return to old habits after a short-term diet. The addictive components cause you to crave the unhealthy foods resulting in an unsuccessful dieting cycle. Often times people diet, exercise, and lose weight only to return to their old lifestyle. Unfortunately this vicious cycle causes you to re-gain the weight. Diets are not the solution to a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Gradual lifestyle changes are key.
Here are 7 ways in which you can make gradual lifestyle changes to keep your New Years Weight-loss Resolution.
1). Netflix and Chill
There are several Health documentaries on Netflix that will inspire you to change your lifestyle. Education is key. When you know better, you do better. These documentaries provide you with the truth about the food industry and the toxic food we eat. It will definitely provide you with a different perspective and hopefully inspire you to change. It definitely inspired me to change. Here are some of the top documentaries; Forks over Knives , Hungry for Change, Food Inc, Fed Up, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Cowspiracy, and, What the Health.
2). Consistent Exercise
Up until recently I had never really liked exercise. Last year I got tired a wishing and praying that I had that pre-baby body. This is something I couldn’t really refer to as baby weight as my youngest is six. I have found that lifestyle modification mixed with consistent exercise is key to weight loss. Find a expertise regimen that works for you. I have tons of equipment at home but I have learned that I need a coach to help push me to do the work. I have tried tons of boot camps and boxing classes, without success. Not to say that these programs weren’t effective. But they were not a good for me. Two and a half months ago I joined Orange Theory Fitness. It is an hour long high impact coach led Interval fitness class that I have learned to love. It challenges me to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I am finally beginning to see some results and am loving the potential of where I could be a year from now.
3) Eliminate Processed Foods
This does not have to happen overnight. Hopefully watching some health documentaries on Netflix will inspire you to change the foods you eat. Gradually start to cut out junk food. Based on your obsessions. If you are obsessed with potato chips and eat a small individual size each day. Reduce it to only twice a week. Gradually changes make a difference over time.
4). Read Food Label Ingredients
Often times we focus more on calorie count than the ingredient list. It is so important to know what’s in your food. Look for simplistic ingredients. You should always be able to read and understand what’s in your food. If you don’t understand it, don’t buy it. Forget brand loyalty. Choose food quality over brand loyalty. Be open-minded to switch to products that have healthier ingredients.
5). Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Make sure that the bulk of the food you buy comes the produce isle of the grocery store. If you think about it the only “real food” are not packaged in a box. You don’t really need to have to understand complicated ingredient lists when you eat fruits and vegetables.
6). Drink Water
A lot of people underestimate the power of water. Our bodies are 60% water. We need to drink a lot of water. Carbonated sodas and sugar-laden juices do not count. It is very important that you stay hydrated. For every pound you weigh you should drink 1 oz of water. If you weight 150 pounds you should drink 150 ounces. Water keeps you hydrated and suppresses your appetite. If you are drinking that much water it curbs your cravings to drink soda and other sugar refined drinks.
7). Snack Less
Often times our snacks are consist of unhealthy chips, sodas, and other processed foods which curb our appetite. Opt for unsalted nuts. Nuts are fortified with protein and other nutrients. They have a nutritious component without the healthy effects.